by Reem Papageorgiou | July 8, 2021

This month’s CatchUp is with MomUp's superstar mom, Lori Prew!

I’m Lori Prew. I am obsessed with music. Bruce Springsteen is my favorite musician, because he has a song for every human experience, age, and stage of life. I study song lyrics very intently, and try to empathize with the artist’s experience.

How has MomUp helped you?

Reem Papageorgiou, Cofounder and Chief Talent Officer of MomUp is AMAZING….(but you all already know that)! Reem’s instincts are rock solid. After our initial conversation, she sized up my experience and personality, and immediately began working on a match.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

My superpower is introducing people and creating collaborations. I have naturally done this throughout my career, from my work as a public policy professional at the State House and in DC, to my positions working as an executive director for membership organizations, and more. All diverse positions, but all with the common thread of connecting people and creating common goals. My greatest professional accomplishment was serving as “quarterback” for the New England Transportation Summit. Working for Metropolitan Area Planning Council and partnering with the New England Council, our organizations strategically collaborated. We galvanized governors and congressional representatives from every state in New England to gather and sign a “declaration of interdependence”. This served to support final funding for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project— one of the country’s largest public infrastructure projects. Congress accepted our proposal, and the project was funded and completed. As Margaret Mead so accurately states: 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has."    
What do you think companies should know about working moms?

Working moms are the BEST investment for companies. As skilled multi-taskers, moms are used to balancing a myriad of responsibilities and obligations with finesse! Moms also know how to get the job DONE, with less time to waste. Moms also remind us of the importance of work-life balance. Getting the project in on deadline is important, but so is Johnny’s soccer game. Moms know how to do both. They are superheroes without capes.  

What are your best job search tips?
  • Personalize your job search. Talk to people who know your work, who can talk authentically to potential employers about your value. Ask these people to connect you to people they know in your chosen field.  The discussion is automatically less rigid and more relaxed if you both have a connection with a mutual friend or colleague. Ask them if they will keep you in mind for future positions. Ask them if there are others they know in your field that they would recommend you connect with. This is exactly how I met Reem Papageorgiou of MomUp!  A friend of a friend of a friend introduced us, and we hit it off immediately!
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn! I LOVE the fact that LinkedIn identifies mutual connections. It is a great conversation starter to talk to prospective employers about mutual connections you each share.  Again, it personalizes the process, and once you're hired, that mutual friend can serve as a reference!  Peruse profiles and send and InMail to individuals who have positions similar to one you desire. Have coffee with them, ask them how they like their work and see if it is something you can envision similarly for yourself. 
  • Treat your job search like a job.  After your morning routine, sit down at your computer and stay committed to your job search as rigorously as you would if it was your actual job. With this level of perseverance, you’ll be placed in a snap! 
What was the first job you ever had?

First job was babysitting, and I was proud to be the “coveted” neighborhood babysitter for the (then) going rate of…(drumroll) 75 cents an hour.  I channeled my inner “Maria” from

Sound of Music

and sang (badly) with the kids, planned talent shows, packed picnic lunches, and carried said picnic basket on my bike with the kids trailing behind. I still have a scar on my leg from the time the picnic basket caused me to lose balance and I toppled over! Maria made it look so easy! LOL   .

What kept you going during the pandemic?

Just before the pandemic in January 2020, I signed up for the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certification program at Universal Power Yoga in Norwood.  It was absolutely one of the best decisions I ever made. Besides practicing yoga postures, we engaged in in-depth study of yoga through readings, workshops, written assignments, and more. Not only did I meet amazing friends and teachers, but my mind and body became healthier and stronger as a result. I also learned about meditation (and became trained as a meditation teacher) during this time. These new skills became a godsend, as I was diagnosed with breast cancer the day after my yoga graduation. I was told a mascectomy was needed immediately to remove my invasive tumors. I used my yoga postures to navigate my body after the surgery. I used meditation, affirmations, and manifestation to stay calm, put faith in God over fear, and envision my perfect outcome. Although I have another preventative surgery being scheduled, I am currently CANCER FREE! I thank God everyday for introducing me to yoga and meditation and the bounty of wellness both provide everyday, but particularly during a difficult time.      

Do you have any work/life balance tips?

Three of the best activities I incorporated as a mother with young children: 

1- Have Family Meetings. My kids loved this. We sat at the kitchen table, and democratically discussed meals we would prepare, movies we would watch together, family activities and vacation ideas. We also discussed grievances, chores, and allowance. We passed around a pepper grinder, and you could only speak if you were holding the grinder.  This not only allowed my children to feel vested in family decisions, but it created a frame of reference when I explained that I have similar meeting with adults at work on work-related projects.

2- Develop a Family Mission Statement.  I read “How to Develop a Family Mission Statement” by Stephen Covey, and the mission statement we collectively put together as a family many years ago still hangs on the refrigerator. When you follow his steps to help your kids identify what is important, you can point to the mission statement to remind your children of your agreed-upon family values. It is also helpful to remind them that organizations similarly have mission statements, and you can use this to frame your work responsibilities when explaining to your kids.

3- Encourage your employer to support community service activities which includes families. I asked my employer to support charities like “School on Wheels of MA”, providing academic assistance and school supplies to families affected by homelessness. In addition to a donation box at the office, I set up corporate volunteer days with families on weekends. 

We're looking for summer tv, book, or movie recommendations.  What are yours?

I love listening to inspirational books on Audible while I walk. Some of my favorites during the pandemic were: (1)

Inspired: 7 Wisdoms of a Soul-Inspired Life

by Joy Taylor, (2)

The Four Agreements

by Don Miguel Ruiz, (3)

The Untethered Soul

by Michael A. Singer, (4)

Love for No Reason

by Marci Shimoff, (5)

Daring Greatly

by Brene Brown and (6)

Gifts of Imperfection

by Brene Brown. I could go on! 🙂